As soon as Adobe Reader 9 was released, Adobe’s popular PDF ( Portable Document Format ) has become an ISO standard.The ISO ( International Organization for Standardization ) has published a press release about the new standard called ISO 32000-1:2008.
Adobe Chief Technology Officer Kevin Lynch has been quoted about the move on this.
As governments and organizations increasingly request open formats, maintenance of the PDF specification by an external and participatory organization will help continue to drive innovation and expand the rich PDF ecosystem that has evolved over the past 15 years.
According to the ISO PDF standard abstract:
ISO 32000-1:2008 specifies a digital form for representing electronic documents to enable users to exchange and view electronic documents independent of the environment in which they were created or the environment in which they are viewed or printed. It is intended for the developer of software that creates PDF files (conforming writers), software that reads existing PDF files and interprets their contents for display and interaction (conforming readers) and PDF products that read and/or write PDF files for a variety of other purposes (conforming products).
It certainly has been a long time coming for the PDF standard which is widely used now. Wider recognition was awarded to PDF, when Adobe starting giving away the Adobe Reader for free, so that everyone could view PDF files. It is also one of the most widely used file formats for documents on the internet today. The latest version of PDF has incorporated support to view media enriched PDF documents with flash movies and Shockwave animations as well as enhanced security system of 256-bit encryption, 3D images, word processing documents, improved form management and redaction, PDF portfolios and wrapping of video and animation with the introduction of Adobe Acrobat 9.
As for consumers, the PDF format has been a hit or miss affair on the Web. PDFs are well-known for taking a long time to open in browsers with Adobe’s own Reader software. Others like Apple have come in and integrated PDF reading into its Safari browser, while users of Firefox have sought third-party solutions like Foxit to speed up the process. Likewise, PDF search results on Google have had an “open as HTML” option for some time now, letting users forgo formatting for speed.
He has also raised the importance of ISO certification by stating the fact that when any file format gets ISO certified, it becomes more attractive to governments and large corporate customers.
Microsoft has created their own XPS format against PDF, which is natively supported by Windows Vista and can be printed and viewed through the built in XPS viewer. How it’ll create any room for itself now that PDF will get popularity amongst corporate users is yet to be seen.